HomeManilavol. 9 no. 1 (2013)

Emancipation of a National Artist: Necrologic Context and Gelastic Feature in Rolando Tinio’s Letran Short Stories

Manuel R. Zamora Jr.

Discipline: Philippine History



Colegio de San Juan de Letrán, which turns four centuries old in 2020, has contributed much in the shaping of the minds of some of the country’s illustrious writers. To name a few, Letrán has produced the likes of Francisco Balagtas, Severino Reyes and Jesus Balmori. These writers penned tales and stories that captured the imagination of a people. Rolando Santos Tinio, who was awarded posthumously in 1997 as National Artist for Theater and Literature, was one of these Letranites. His genius was very evident in these roles: “director, actor, playwright, poet, essayist.”1 That Rolando S. Tinio was a Letranite is less known by the public. Tinio is more often associated with the University of Santo Tomas (where he finished his degree in philosophy), the University of Iowa (where he was a writing fellow for two years) and the Ateneo de Manila University (where he served as professor and theater director). But he was a Letranite. In fact, his writing prowess was given the needed spark when he attended Letrán High School from 1948 to 1951. Specifically, this paper tries to present the common themes of death and twisted endings found in the short stories written by Tinio for the Letrán News and Letrán Mirror.